With big ticket investments not pouring into West Bengal according to her government's plans, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday promised creation of a crore jobs in the state over the course of time.
"My target is to create employment for one crore people through self-help groups, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and various government projects," Banerjee said after inaugurating the West Bengal State Handicrafts Fair here.
Banerjee said that 17,000 new small industries, providing employment to 1.54 lakh people, have come up in the state after her government came to power last year.
"Setting up of 15,000 other schemes to provide work to 1.12 lakh people are under process and they will start functioning soon," she said.
The Mamata Banerjee government promised to rope in big industrial projects in the state. But so far, the plan has not been much success with entrepreneurs expressing concern over policy issues like land acquisition. Leading industry lobbies have also voiced their concern over the law and order situation.
The chief minister said that world-class marketing centres for small-scale industries would be set up at Shantiniketan in Birbhum district, and Kolkata's Rajarhat and Rabindra Sarobar areas.
"The land has been identified at Shantiniketan. Lot of tourists from India and abroad visit Shantiniketan. They can buy small-scale industry products from there. It will help the craftsmen," she said.
Banerjee announced that her government would set up marketing hubs in all sub-divisions for the small and cottage industries sector.
To boost the handloom sector, she said the workers would be given the work of stitching dresses worn by the state government's disaster management group.
The chief minister said the man-days lost in the state due to shutdowns and strikes have come down since her government took over.
While 68 lakh man-days were lost in 2009-10 due to shutdowns and strikes, in 2010-11 the figure was 65 lakh.
She said with her government taking over reins of the state in May 2011, only 60,000 man-days were lost in 2011-12. "Till September this year, only 5,200 man-days have been lost," Banerjee said.